“He will not be going, I tell you!” “Hobbits do not go on adventures.” “No.” “can’t.” “won’t.” “Impossible”…These are all things that I’ve noticed being said to wizards by people who should really know better. Don’t get me wrong here, if you’ve grown up in a world which doesn’t even have storybooks about wizards, you can have a pass. However, most people in the books either know wizards, are wizards, or have dealt with the situation before…and they still make a wizard mad.
Try telling Gandalf or Dumbledore that they can’t do something. That’s like telling a fire breathing dragon that he can’t barbecue. So why do it? Why mouth off and frustrate/offend or worse a person with those types of powers?? To me, the answers is simple…it is all a question of power and fear.
The Dursleys kept Harry locked in a cupboard to keep him in check, of course they weren’t going to stop bullying him and allow him to go gain confidence and magic. Bilbo Baggins was frightened, a bit obsessive, and more than a little offended at being spoken to by someone who actually enjoyed adventures, of course he would want no part in that! The list goes on and on. In my own books I have a fairy Queen whose pet sorcerer is teaching her to use such powers and anyone who defies her is promptly enslaved and/or turned into stone statues for her garden. Wizards (and sorcerers) are just testy like that I suppose.
It isn’t just wizards or other mythical beings though. Have you ever tried telling a toddler that he/she isn’t big enough to do something? What about telling a teacher that their students aren’t good enough/smart enough to do a certain project or take a certain trip? This list, too, goes on and on. The same reasoning lies behind these actions that lie within the fantasy realms. Power, fear, pride, dignity, and just plain old fashioned stubbornness connect all realms, all worlds, and all languages. Fantasy stories, mysteries, true crime, historical pieces, sitcoms, and the local real-life neighborhood all share in those traits. With those similarities, the willing suspension of disbelief is made much more easily and people (or things) that might never have been able to come together before are now irrevocably connected.
This is why fantasy novels can teach about life, and why I will try not to mouth off (which will be difficult!) if a wizard ever shows up at my door asking me for favors. After all, some things are universal.